And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Isaiah 60:3 ESV
My pastor preached yesterday about the effectiveness of the fervent, laboring prayer of a righteous man. And he shared the example of Elijah pushing hard with his head between his knees for the rains to come — and that they came in due time. Just like a woman giving birth to a baby at her due date, Elijah’s prayer gave birth to the rain at it’s due date. In both cases, the due date was set by the seed implanted by the Father, but the fulfillment of the delivery came through their participation through the labor pains.
And when I saw today’s verse from Isaiah chapter 60, a chapter about “The future glory of Israel” — it reminds me of how Christ was delivered to the world in the same manner, as a seed of the Holy Spirit delivered through the vessel of Mary, and through her labor pains He came into this world.
Finally, isn’t this also the way that the Kingdom of God is brought into this world — by the seed of the Holy Spirit received by His beloved. And mustn’t we expect (as fervent, zealous, passionate lovers of the Lord) to go through laborious trials and challenges and suffering and persecution — so that the fruit of the Holy Spirit can be revealed through us? Doesn’t it take someone wronging us — for us to have the opportunity to bear the sweet fruit of Love in the undeserved grace type of way that reveals Christ in us? Doesn’t it take dry deserts of lasting weariness — for us to have the opportunity to bear the sweet fruit of patience that comes through faithful endurance that reveals Christ in us? Doesn’t it take storms and winds raging around us, and enemies around every side selling to destroy us — for us to bear the fruit of that peace that passes all understanding as we trust that even though it looks like we are surrounded, that our Lord is victorious and is mighty to save?
Today, I am encouraged that Isaiah 60:3 doesn’t just speak of the due date of baby Jesus “Emmanuel — God With Us”, a reminder of Christ near us, with a star in the sky and wise men bringing gifts. I am encouraged that it also speaks of this Good News and of “Christ in Us” — a seed planted in His beloved meant to go forth, multiply and bear much fruit.
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV
Yes, we are carrying this light to the nations, beloved.
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
Isaiah 60:1 ESV
As He walked, we shall walk. As He talked, we shall talk. As He lived, we shall live. As He thought, we shall think. As He prayed, we shall pray. We bear the seed He has placed within us, our lives are a living testimony to the wonderful things He has promised and is fulfilling. Amen!